Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back home

We're back at home in the UK - finally got here about 6pm yesterday. My blessed and beloved mother spent Monday here cleaning the house and getting food ready for us, so we were greeted by a clean, tidy house full of flowers - bliss.

The easyjet flight from Faro was slightly delayed but relatively painless. I discovered when we got back that if we had used our 49-cent Ryanair flights from Seville, a strike by Spanish baggage handlers meant we could only have taken hand luggage - a bit of a blow as we actually had five large bags which probably weighed over 80kg altogether! (easyjet didn't even charge us excess - thanks again).

Packing was a fairly vast challenge, but fortunately two days before we left we heard about a chap called Ian who is bringing a big van back to the UK in a few weeks, and then out to Portugal again. He now has two big boxes of our kit on board, and on his return journey he'll be able to take the Westerly headlining and somewhat toxic glue which might not have been popular on a flight to Faro! (Headlining is the stuff which covers the ceiling of the boat - Westerly used foam-backed stuff which decays horribly after 15 years or so, a perennial pain).

Portugal did its best to send us home knowing we were doing the right thing, with a couple of cool rainy days on Monday and Tuesday, and on Tuesday night wind, heavy rain and thunderstorms. We saw on 23 knots in the marina but I wouldn't have liked to be out sailing! The wind was southerly which means you get big waves breaking, and almost all the harbours in the Algarve are inaccessible under those conditions.

What next? Well, we've opened most of the post, and I have a mountain of washing to do :-)) Sam is already back to work today as he had to return the hire car to Norwich airport, and meet his partner Matthew who ironically flies out to Faro for a holiday tomorrow!

Ben is still sleeping at the moment (11am Thursday) but has to get his head around going back to school after the half-term break. Guy was pleased to see us (I think) and joined us for dinner last night, but went back to Alex and David's to sleep as he has no bed over here at the moment! And I need to get my head around work, or not, what I want to do next and why...

I think we'll keep the blog going for a while at least, and maybe update it again as we get plans under way in the winter, and during whatever we do next spring and summer. Malta is a possibility, or failing that Corsica or Sardinia. Lots to think about (pilot books to buy, plans to make....)

And finally... at the weekend we're planning to look at a Folkboat that's for sale down in Essex. Ben has always wanted one, and Sam wants a winter project with no Kalessin to work on. Folkboats are only 25 feet long but pretty tough - the one we're looking at crossed the Atlantic in 1973. It was built in Norway in 1962 and although it's said to be "fundamentally sound", if we buy it, it may take up quite a lot of time! Or we may just hate it. Watch this space.

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